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In the aftermath of whatever it was that happened to Republicans in the 2012 election cycle, a strong consensus emerged that building and maintaining a better infrastructure was a priori for conservatives and the overall ground game of the right. Patrick Davis and his newly formed Republican Union PAC agreed and began to blaze that trail even before the losses in November, working to give Republicans a head start for 2014 and 2016.
While the words “Republican” and “Union” are rarely seen anywhere near each other, the Republican Union PAC believes that is just where they belong. Taking over the typical strategy of the left’s prized union members, Republican Union PAC also promises boots on the ground for the path ahead. But rather than the shouts and cries of unity with big labor, Republican Union PAC brings with it a message of solidarity among grassroots, community organizations, and other political partners from all across the country.
In other words, Republican Union PAC desires to be the new face of the right’s ground game. And, unlike many other PACs that serve their purpose in only one or two election cycles, Republican Union PAC is in it for the long haul.
Republican Union PAC’s mission statement is a practical outline of that vision: “The Republican Union PAC was created to fund, train, deploy and organize grass roots activists in communities strategically important to electing a Republican majority in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as to electing a Republican President.”
Patrick Davis, nationally known political consultant and one of the founders of the Republican Union PAC, believes that such a mission is simple and straightforward.
Davis explains the Republican Union PAC in light of the left’s union strategy by noting that, “Union groups usually associated with the left have played a good ground game for a long time in this way: they take their members from a number of protected states and channel them into key areas throughout the country. The members are put up in a hotel and the unions hold their undivided attention as the volunteers phone bank or are sent door-to-door for eight or ten hours a day.”
It could be said that the Republican Union PAC shares a similar logistical vision in that it allows the opportunity for those on the right to be better mobilized for the cause. It gives willing and available activists on the right the ability to volunteer for several days, a week, or even a month on the front lines for key issues and campaigns.
Instead of being limited to one physical location or their own personal social media networks, Republican Union PAC would fund individuals to go and assist full-time in campaigns where they are most needed. The energy and time that would have been spent pushing content to Facebook and Twitter all day to a select group of friends can be channeled and maximized into forty hours a week of phone banking, door knocking, community outreach, and a greater social media messaging platform to stand on.
Early this week, the Republican Party published its “Growth and Opportunity Project,” a report that also scored an extensive write-up in the Wall Street Journal. The Project highlighted the GOP’s goals and intentions for the Party’s path forward. One of the key resolutions underscored in the report and a running theme was to “encourage PAC’s and outside groups to invest in field staff and technology, not just TV ads.”
Considering the structure and purpose of the organization, the Republican Union PAC seems uniquely equipped to address and resolve this very issue.
Long before the Growth and Opportunity Project was released, Davis was aware of the need for this refined strategy, which is what led him to kick start the Republican Union PAC.
“Republican Union PAC was positioned perfectly in 2012 to solve this problem,” Davis said. “Republican Union PAC and other grassroots focused outside groups were ignored and purposely underfunded and in some cases unfunded. Conservative donors were encouraged to fund media efforts only, amassing hundreds of millions into a few media centric Super PACs.”
Put differently, there was certainly “enough to go around” on the conservative side in 2012, but the money simply did not get passed around.
Davis concluded that, “In the 2014 and 2016 cycles, Republican Union PAC and our allied conservative grassroots-focused outside groups are prepared to pick up this shovel and begin digging the conservative movement out of this hole. As with anything all that is needed is funding dedicated to field staff and technology.”
Davis and the others involved in kick-starting the Republican Union PAC are both energetic and optimistic; rare but desperately-needed qualities in this soul searching season for the conservative movement. The way they see it, Republican Union PAC is an opportunity to build on the successes of the right and to capitalize on what works as Republicans move into the upcoming election cycles.
The Republican Union PAC is a project worthy of investment. With its focus on solidarity and providing the resources necessary to put boots on the ground, it can and will prove to be a valuable asset to the right’s revamped infrastructure and ground game moving forward.